Jean Sanglar

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Jean Sanglar


The only son of two teacher parents, Jean Sanglar was born in Fréjus, France in 1926.  As such, throughout his early years his education was strict.


He draws with taste and talent from an early age, however, in his strict educational environment, his family will only consider this a mere hobby.


After studying law in Aix-en-Provence, he later took up a position in Paris at the Ministry of the Navy where he spent his entire professional career in Paris.


Hardly the direction of a burgeoning artist.  Nevertheless, it has a hidden benefit.  It affords him the time and ability to continue a unique artistic growth that emerges and blossoms over time.


He travels to New York, London and frequents the “underground” artistic circles, visits exhibitions and meets Francis Bacon and other noteworthy characters.


In his work, rigour remains the watchword, it is present in all his constructions where it is characterized by the use of space in large flat areas of uniform colors, finely harmonized in different geometric planes leaving a significant space and place to the universe in which his characters truly evolve.


Sanglar states emphatically “I’m not interested in the finished canvas. It is the next one that is important!”.

He embodies an assertive talent that presents to us all a humanity that is both surrealist, pleasing and grotesque at the same time.


The rhythm is lively and violent; the strokes of pastel or knife marks incise a layer of still fresh paint, winding into endless hanks to give birth to mysterious golems with hollow orbits opening onto the world a hallucinated haunting look.


Expressive facial expressions, whitish bodies, gigantic hands, characters in strangely offbeat situations, in this fascinating universe that leaves on questioning.


A world of unbridled freedom, derision, from which deformed bodies spring, sometimes lying on a beach in the sun, sometimes playing the trumpet or double bass, spinning, cruelly entangling and drawing the reality of a “tragic-comic” world.  All of this emerges in a way in which he joins, in a unique and personal style, the expressionist universes of an Edvard Munch, a Lucian Freud, an Egon Schiele or a Francis Bacon.  He accomplishes this through a sharp look at the world around him.


Sanglar painted his entire life.  His body of work is magnificent.  Many of which were discovered after his death in 1996, including an important series about the Holocaust.


In the 1960s, he frequently exhibited in Paris where he was awarded a silver medal. Of note, in August of 1968 he met Picasso at a joint exhibition.


He expresses his pain in facing the reality of the world when he states, “I don’t pretend to be a witness. I don’t paint to say something; it’s a job, not a hobby”.


Today, through his work, we finally have the privilege to discover the fantastic universe, which he created.  The Universe of Sanglar.


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